Outgoing General Secretary of the AIFF, Mr. Alberto Colaco, stated today that he had received confirmation that the Palestine Football Association was indeed planning to send a club team to represent Palestine in the Nehru Cup 2009.
IndianFootball.Com was the first to provide the surprising news to the AIFF yesterday and as promised by Mr. Colaco, he got back to us regarding the news as soon as he had confirmed it.
In a self-explanatory eMail today to IndianFootball.Com, Mr. Colaco stated: "First of all I would like to thank you for bringing to our notice regarding the participation of a Club team in the name of the Palestine Football Association.
"I forwarded your eMail to the FIFA Agent and to the Palestine FA. They have confirmed that they are sending a club team to represent Palestine."
"I am consulting all concerned parties, including the sponsors, media right holders and the organizing committee members. A decision whether we should accept this team or not will be taken after getting their advice."
The AIFF would be in a tight spot to find a replacement for the Palestinian team if indeed their participation is rejected given that the tournament is scheduled to kick-off from August 19. Earlier, Thailand had been replaced by Palestine because they wanted to send their Under-19 team to Delhi. It is baffling how a nation can send a club team, that too one which was ninth in the league last season, to represent the country in an international tournament. Thankfully, the matter was brought to the notice of the AIFF by IndianFootball.Com before the team actually arrived in India and with the AIFF promising prompt action, an embarrassing situation has probably been averted.